The Senate is set to consider the nomination of Justin Walker for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. One of the talking points about Judge Walker’s nomination consistently raised by the mainstream media is that, when Walker was nominated for his federal district court judgeship, the ABA rated him “not qualified.”
The rationale for this rating was that Walker had no experience trying cases in federal court. However, as I explained here:
Trial experience is relevant in considering a nominee for a trial court. However, it has little bearing on the qualifications of an appeals court judge — the position Walker now has been tapped for. In any event, Walker has now presided over federal trials.
The ABA seems at least in part to understand this logic — unassailable, if say so myself. For it rates Judge Walker “well qualified” to serve on the D.C. Circuit.
CNN still seems not to grasp the logic. Its headline regarding the ABA’s rating states “American Bar Association now rates Trump nominee for powerful court seat as ‘well-qualified'” (emphasis added), and it calls the ABA’s new rating a “reversal from last year.”
It’s not a reversal. Walker is being considered for a different job from last year and has different credentials.
In any case, the ABA rating no longer provides an excuse for opposing Judge Walker’s confirmation. The Democrats need to manufacture new ones.
They will have no difficulty doing so. However, in light of Tara Reade’s charges against Joe Biden, I can think of one rationale Democrats are unlikely to manufacture in this instance.